The DailyBrief

Friday June 2, 2017

China-EU, warming climate: China and the European Union today will discuss the way forward on the global pact against climate change after US President Donald Trump said the world’s biggest economy will withdraw from the agreement. Asia Times reports that China is now emerging as Europe’s unlikely global partner, on areas from free trade to security.

WeChat’s China takeover: The already popular instant messaging app WeChat, which doubles as a Facebook-style social media platform, is starting to take over China’s mobile internet ecosystem. Asia Times reports that WeChat is said to now account for 29% of the time spent using mobile apps in China for May and total active users on the app are up 23% year on year.

US island hopping: Okinawa is host to more than half of the 47,000 US troops stationed in Japan but opposition to this military presence is growing among the island’s residents. Grant Newsham writes that a re-thinking of a plan to move American Marines from Okinawa to Guam and Hawaii is yet another example of the US military’s often haphazard approach to Asia-Pacific.

Silk Road Fund: The China Development Bank will set aside 250 billion yuan (US$36.6 billion) to support one belt, one road (Obor) projects, reports Asia Times. The fund will run over three years and hopes to attract private capital to public-private partnership deals intended to bolster Beijing’s ambitious multi-continent development program.